Egg whites Vs Egg yolks
Coming up to Easter and with an abundance of Easter eggs filling up our supermarket shelves, I thought I would take on the topic of eggs, the non-chocolate kind! Eggs cause a lot of confusion and are a common concern amongst my clients when I initially recommend them to have a protein breakfast in the morning but fortunately if you enjoy eggs, a lot of the concerns are based on old wives’ tales and not hard science.
How many eggs should I consume in a week? What about my cholesterol? Should I discard the yolk from the white? Let’s get cracking and get answering some of these questions 😉 ….pun totally intended!
Eggs are a great source of a complete, high quality protein with few calories. One whole medium size egg has around 5.5 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids which mean it is a perfect food for muscle growth, repair and recovery. They check in at only around 63 calories per egg but more importantly, in exchange for those calories, you get so much nutrition so they are what I like to call a ‘nutrient dense food’ and one worth having on the menu!
Eggs are a great source of choline, which is an essential nutrient i.e. despite the fact that humans can make it in the body in small amounts, choline must be consumed in the diet to maintain health. Choline is an important nutrient in regulating the brain, nervous system and cardio vascular system as well as all round cell signaling and repairing of DNA i.e. cancer control. You can read more about choline, how it functions in the body and deficiency symptoms from this trusted source here.
Eggs are also great for the eyes. They contain good amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which can prevent macular degeneration. Both nutrients are more readily available from eggs than anything else we eat.
Let’s take a closer look at each, the white and the yolk.
Egg whites are a low-calorie, fat-free food which also contain the bulk of the egg’s protein, with around 57% of the total protein coming from the white. For these reasons, people like to choose the whites over the yolk, especially those that are protein savvy and want to look after their body composition. A single egg provides 55 mg of sodium and only 17 calories whilst also offering a few key micronutrients such as 6.6 mcg of selenium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, and 53.8 mg of potassium.
It is true, egg yolks carry the cholesterol, the fat and saturated fat of the egg however it’s all about proportion. Only 1.6g of the total 4.5g fat in an egg yolk comes from the saturated fat kind, meaning the rest will be used by the body to feed your organs, including your brain and actually help you lose body fat.
What is also often overlooked are the many nutrients that come with the fat, such as the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. One egg yolk has around 55 calories, 210 mg of cholesterol, 8 mg of sodium, and 2.7 grams of protein so not something to be sniggered about!
The table below taken from figures from the USDA compares the nutrients of the egg white versus the egg yolk, along with a comparison of the percentage of total nutrition found in the yolk and white.
As you can see, the egg yolk has more actual nutrients, but in my opinion the entire egg gives the most complete nutrition and should be eaten WHOLE!
New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a persons lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that may raise cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.
1). GO ORGANIC
Always use organic eggs and if you can get them, buy the Omega 3 eggs. These are produced by chickens that have been fed on superior grain so they produce superior eggs, with a larger percentage of the fat being Omega 3.
2). BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD
When buying eggs buy the best you can afford. The better the chicken that laid the egg is treated and fed, the better the quality of the egg that you eat – same goes for everything you put into your body. If the chicken is not stressed, has space to exercise and flap about, has a good diet, then this will all be passed onto you and I with great nutrition inside the egg.
Battery eggs are terrible, so when an egg seems like great value and you can get 12 ‘value’ eggs for the price of 6 organic ones, I advise to take the organic and have less. Your body will thank you for it!
These are a few of the many reasons that eggs should be eaten often in your diet. I personally, have eaten at two to three eggs every day for 10 years now, and my cholesterol levels are perfect.
All the healthy best,